Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders, ed. Dale Kramer
From the point of view of scholarship as the accumulation of accurate knowledge, no matter how minute, the appearance of a comprehensive and carefully researched volume like Dale Kramer’s edition of Thomas Hardy’s The Woodlanders is clearly a welcome event. From the point of view of the more generally literate audience of students and readers, the elaborate endeavour, including all the many versions of variant readings and changes that finally alter relatively little of the novel, may seem of more questionable value. In this particular instance, however, with the increasing interest in and understanding of Hardy’s superb fiction, as well as within the current fairly fluid and expanding state of Hardy criticism, the appearance of such a volume has particular justifications. Especially considering the skill, knowledge, and judgement with which Kramer has compiled the volume, this new edition of The Woodlanders may help the novel earn the more serious and searching critical examination it has always warranted.
KeywordsGerminate Coherence Smoke Refraction Metaphor
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